Shabak Alleged to Have Murdered Detained 16 Year-Old Israeli Palestinian Boy
Important Update: After numerous attempts to confirm the information published here and being unable to do so, I am sorry to say that at best the account is uncorroborated, and at worst it’s possible the information was not correct (or perhaps credible) to begin with.
I will continue my attempts to verify the details. Meanwhile many thanks to those Israelis who went out of their way to make inquiries on my behalf and apologies to my readers if this story turns out to have been wrong.
An Israeli source confirms the horrifying news that one of the five Israeli Palestinians detained a few days ago in secret by the Shabak has been killed today (or possibly yesterday) in custody in Jalameh prison near Haifa. The victim was Ashraf al-Baladi of the northern Israeli Palestinian village of Sachnin. Here is a description of what happened to him: he was bound to a chair, he either fell over or was pushed onto the floor. The fall cracked his head open, punctured a lung, and broke a rib. The secret police didn’t know what to do. They couldn’t bring him to a hospital for treatment since he’d been secretly detained.
A doctor was summoned but he arrived too late. The boy died shortly thereafter.
I have asked representatives of Israeli and Israeli Palestinian NGOs to demand an accounting from the Interior Ministry and Shabak. So far to no avail. I’m going to renew my appeal to anyone who can contact either agency to tell us whether they have these individuals in custody, and if so where they are held, and under what charges. Allow them to consult with attorneys. And account for the death of a minor child while in Shabak detention.
Can’t all of us human rights activists put our heads together and unravel this mystery and force the secret police to account for their actions?
10 thoughts on “Shabak Alleged to Have Murdered Detained 16 Year-Old Israeli Palestinian Boy – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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“Can’t all of us human rights activists put our heads together and unravel this mystery and force the secret police to account for their actions?”
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel might be able to take on a co-ordinating role in this sort of case and give guidance to activists on how best to respond. It sounds as though the boy’s murder was a consequence of torture, so it’s their arena.
Perhaps you could e-mail them, see what their recommendations are, and publish the details on your blog? There are a lot of concerned and compassionate people working for justice in Palestine and Israel, but it can be so difficult to organise everyone effectively. A spearhead is needed for incidents like this.
…and I see that PCATI published a report on the frighteningly widespread use of incommunicado detention only six weeks ago. Apt reading for today:
I’m sending a copy of this report to my MP back in England, with a covering letter about the death of Ashraf al-Baladi. Could other people do the same thing with their political representatives? It’s essential to include the PCATI report, I think – otherwise you may be brushed off with the ‘it was an isolated incident’ excuse.
Dear Mr. silverstein. I live in the village of Sakhnin. And when I read your article, i asked people around me if they know about those 2 people. Sakhnin is a community that, if something like this happen, it become known immediately. And I didn’t hear about it. Please can you tell me what your news resources are? I really hope that it is not true. Again, if it is true, I wonder why we don’t know. Also the names are very unfamiliar to me.
In sakhnin, everybody knows everything from everybody, and if this happened, then the whole village will talk about it. I hope you can give me some more information
It appears that the names of the detained individuals have been identified but that they don’t live in the villages my source indicated. Plus, both the Shabak and Ahmed Tibi are denying any boy has died in custody. So I’m afraid that the story as my source told it to me is so far unconfirmed. Thanks to everyone who’s done research on this & written to me. And again I apologize for any possibly error there might’ve been in this story.
While it’s possible that this story or some version may be true. I don’t consider it authenticated.
OK, people, calm down. As of now there is zero corroboration for any of this – even the existence of an al-Baladi family in Sakhnin or the existence of any of the names reported by Richard. An aide to a leading Arab MK in Israel whom I asked to look into this got back to me with “No such thing”. Absent further data, I’ma go out on a limb and say this isn’t true. This could change, but as of now there is simply no evidence, so hold off on the letter to your MP and so on.
i have access to a program known as חיפושון
it is a database of all israeli citizens, my version is up to date.
all names and ID numbers exist in the DB.
i can’t publish them, but if you would email me i will provide them to you.
But they don’t live in the villages my source reported & no one in Israel can confirm that any child has been killed in Shabak custody. It’s easy to look in an ID directory & find a bunch of names & claim things happened to them. But that doesn’t constitute evidence that what the source says happened did happen.
This is how you do “tikun olam” — by spreading unsubtantiated slander against Israel?
Yeah, & I’m proud of it. My commitment is to justice, not Israel’s secret police. If a Palestinian boy is in danger or may’ve been killed you bet I’m going to report it if I have a reasonable belief it is true. Perhaps you haven’t heard of the term pikuach nefesh. If you haven’t look it up. For the sake of saving a life, Jewish tradition allows you to violate laws of Shabbat that would otherwise prevent doing so.
I still don’t know that my source was wrong. If he was I have apologized to anyone who spent time & energy researching the story. If he turns out to be right, I’ll be proud I took a chance.
Next time when you ancounter a case where you have a name of a victim, his age and residence, just call the local municipality and ask them. Sakhnin is an Israeli village in the Galilee, they can be reached and even answer your questions in English or Hebrew. Here is the tel. number of the municipality:
BTW there is no one in Sakhnin with that name. People I know in Sakhnin told me that no one is missing from home.